The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77728   Message #1392425
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
29-Jan-05 - 02:04 PM
Thread Name: What is wrong with being a purist?
Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
As Mudcat gains new members (or guest readers) this discussion is going to come up repeatedly. And it doesn't hurt even if it is just re-hashed by old members. I'm on a couple of academic discussion lists, and the same thing happens there every year or two. The Western Literature Association regularly goes through a "what is the West" discussion--does California get included, what about large urban areas in the West, are they really "western?" and on. The Environmental Literature discussion forum does the same thing. If we live in the environment, and write in the environment, why isn't ALL writing environmental? I won't begin to characterize the discussions that have happened over the years on the American Indian Literature lists--"who is an Indian and what are they/should they be writing about their people?" is a hot button topic if there ever was one. Something comes along and sets these groups off to once again take a four-dimensional look at their raison d'ĂȘtre.

If we all shared the exact same viewpoint, there wouldn't be a need to talk about it. With each repeat discussion, newcomers can learn the complexities in their new field of interest, and established members can refine their viewpoints. It's a win-win situation, and it is a given that not everyone will agree.

Good thread, John C.